You know it’s bad when even the New York City cab drivers question the decision to watch a New York Mets game.
It was not that long ago that the New York Mets were on top of the baseball world. They had gotten out to a fast start, and appeared ready to contend for the National League East title once again. However, once the calendar turned to May, the Mets began to slide back through the standings, dropping below .500 as a myriad of injuries took their toll.
Given that downturn and plethora of sights available in New York, one can understand why there may be other options than to see a Mets game. But to hear such a statement from a New York City cab driver is certainly eye opening. That happened to Chicago Cubs beat writer Sahadev Sharma, when he hailed a taxi to head to Citi Field on Sunday.
It’s one thing to ask once, just to make sure that someone was heard correctly. But to ask multiple times, seemingly incredulous that anyone would want to waste an afternoon watching a Mets game speaks volumes to how the team in perceived in the city. This is especially true given that it was not mentioned that the driver was a Yankees fan. This was just a regular New Yorker unable to understand why anyone would put themselves through such torment willingly.
As it turns out, the driver was correct, assuming that his passenger was a Mets fan. A solid outing from Steven Matz, who allowed just two runs on five hits and two walks in seven innings, was wasted, as the offense failed to show up yet again in a 2-0 loss. The Mets managed to draw four walks, but were held to three hits as they were shut out.
This just continues what has become a nightmare of a season for the Mets. They were eight games above .500 at the end of April, and have now fallen to 27-30 after that loss. Their injury list looks like an All Star roster, with the likes of Noah Syndergaard, Todd Frazier, and Yoenis Cespedes out of the lineup. It is not a surprise that they have scuffled, failing to score runs when they do get a solid outing from the rotation. And, it is not a surprise that the residents of New York would feel that virtually anything would be more pleasurable than watching a Mets game.
At this point, there really is not a reason to watch a New York Mets game. Just ask the cab drivers in the city, and they will tell you as such.
New York Red Bulls Announce Protected Player List
The New York Red Bulls announced today the list of players available for the 2018 MLS Expansion Draft for FC Cincinnati, along with the list of players protected. The Red Bulls will protect the maximum 11 players from the senior roster. Four additional Homegrown Players are automatically protected. The expansion draft is set for Tuesday, December 11 at 2 p.m. ET.
New York Red Bulls protected players:
Goalkeepers: Ryan Meara, Luis Robles
Defenders: Kemar Lawrence, Aaron Long, Michael Amir Murillo Tim Parker (rights)
Midfielders: Christian Casseres Jr., Sean Davis, Kaku, Danny Royer
Forwards: Bradley Wright-Phillips
The Red Bulls have protected 10 players under contract and the rights to Tim Parker. The Red Bulls have extended a Bona Fide offer to Parker, retaining his rights and making him ineligible for the upcoming MLS re-entry draft.
Additional Homegrown players on the supplemental roster are automatically protected. Those players are: Derrick Etienne Jr., Evan Louro, Alex Muyl, and Ben Mines.
The list of available players is as follows:
Defenders: Kyle Duncan, Connor Lade, Hassan Ndam
Midfielders: Vincent Bezecourt, Andreas Ivan, Florian Valot
Forwards: Anatole Abang, Brian White
Vikings score key win to put Packers’ season on life support
The Minnesota Vikings weren’t getting embarrassed on the national stage for a second straight game.
Badly needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, they came out and handily defeated the division rival Green Bay Packers 24-17 to improve to 6-4-1 on the season.
This was an extremely important victory because next week the Vikings travel to New England, where wins don’t come easily.
Here are three things we learned Sunday night.
1. The Vikings get it
Mike Zimmer’s players understood the importance of this game and knew they had to attack with the sense of urgency. They got off to a sloppy start, but as the game progressed, the team got key stops from the defense and put together productive drives on offense.
Minnesota had the look of a squad that knew it needed to win to keep playoff hopes alive. Quarterback Kirk Cousins was coming off of his worst game as a Viking (two interceptions to go with two touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 76.5) and he had all eyes on him Sunday night because the Vikings fans wanted to know he would respond. The quarterback bounced back in a big way, completing 29 of 38 passes for 342 yards and three touchdowns.
Helping matters for Cousins was the fact that the Packers’ pass rush is nothing like that of the Bears. Minnesota’s line did a good job of protecting the quarterback, and Cousins held up his end of the deal. He had some of his best throws in the second half with his team needing first downs and points.
2. Defense does still matter
This phase of the game is often overlooked in today’s NFL where teams produce video-game-like scores and rack up record-setting yardage totals. But strong defensive contributions do indeed still have a place in this league.
The Vikings generated good pressure on Aaron Rodgers with defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson leading the way with two sacks. The disruption made it hard for the Packers to get anything going in the final three quarters of the game. Green Bay was a woeful 2-for-10 on third downs and managed only 14 first downs compared to the Vikings’ 22.
Give the Vikings credit for the way that they regrouped after offering little resistance to start the game. After surrendering two early touchdowns to the Packers, Minnesota limited Green Bay to just 23 yards in the second quarter and kept Rodgers and Co. out of the end zone the remainder of the game.
3. This just isn’t Green Bay’s year
The Packers already were on a disappointing course as they entered this game with a 4-5-1 record. But now at 4-6-1, and well behind wild card hopefuls in the Redskins, Vikings, Panthers and Seahawks, Green Bay can basically kiss its postseason hopes goodbye.
In their final five games, the Packers will face the Cardinals, Falcons, Bears, Jets and Lions. They’ll have trouble against the Bears, but wins are possible against the four other opponents. That still won’t likely be enough, however. The Packers have some nice pieces, but changes surely are coming. Mike McCarthy’s play-calling is largely unimaginative. The defense needs more difference-makers, and Rodgers could use another weapon or two.
Packers coach explains why he didn’t go for it with Aaron Rodgers on critical fourth down
With just under four and a half minutes left to play against the Seahawks on Thursday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy had to make one of the biggest decisions of the game.
With the Packers trailing 27-24 and facing a fourth-and-2 from their own 33-yard line, McCarthy had the option of keeping Aaron Rodgers on the field to go for it or he could punt.
Of course, this is Mike McCarthy we’re talking about, so you probably already know what he did. The Packers ended up punting the ball to the Seahawks, who then proceeded to melt away the final 4:11 of the game to give Seattle a 27-24 win.
With the Packers trailing by three points and only holding one timeout, the choice here seemed pretty simple: You put the ball in Rodgers’ hands with the expectation that he can get two yards. If you’re going to gamble, it makes sense to gamble on one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Rodgers had thrown for 332 yards up to that point and the Packers were averaging an impressive 7.5 yards per play.
Instead, McCarty decided to gamble on his defense, which was a weird decision for two reasons: The Packers hadn’t been able to stop the run the entire game, and they were going to have to play the final drive without two of their star defensive linemen — Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark — who both left the game with an injury. With those two out, the Seahawks ran for 24 yards on four carries to ice the game.
After the loss, McCarthy was asked if he thought about going for it on fourth down.
“We have the injuries to Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels, so yeah, it was definitely a consideration there,” McCarthy said, via the team’s Twitter account. “But with the one timeout and the ability to stop the clock at the two-minute [warning], we played the numbers.”
McCarthy might want to re-think his numbers, because they don’t see add up. Also, let’s not forget that if the Packers had gone for it, McCarthy was apparently going to use the team’s final timeout to think things over.
“We considered taking a timeout there and going for it on fourth-and-2,” McCarthy said.
Obviously, you want to make sure you get the right call on the field for a fourth down, but you probably don’t want to waste your final timeout in that situation, especially with 4:20 still left in the game. That would have left the Packers unable to stop the clock or challenge anything for 2:20.
It’s almost fitting that McCarthy was thinking about blowing a timeout because the Packers didn’t do a great job with their timeouts during the entire second half. They used one in the third quarter and they used one with 10:31 left in the game, which left them with just one timeout for the final stretch of the game.
Packers fans were definitely upset with the way McCarthy coached in Seattle, and it seems he might have finally run out of goodwill. After the loss McCarthy was trending on Twitter, and it was mostly because fans really want to see him fired.
After 12 and a half seasons, it seems that McCarthy might have finally worn out his welcome in Green Bay.
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